Famous Australian Novelists

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Find out more about the greatest Australian Novelists, including P. L. Travers, Clive James, Gregory David Roberts, Markus Zusak and Matthew Reilly.
Vote for Your Favourite Australian Novelists
 1 
Liane Moriarty
(Australian Writer Known for His Novels 'Big Little Lies' and 'Nine Perfect Strangers')
Liane Moriarty
4
Birthdate: November 15, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Liane Moriarty is an Australian author best known for writing the New York Times bestseller Big Little Lies. The book was later adapted into a TV series for HBO. Prior to becoming a famous author, she worked at a legal publishing company. She has also worked as a freelance advertising copywriter.  Her siblings Jaclyn and Nicola are also authors. 

 2 
Markus Zusak
(Australian Writer Known for His Bestselling Novels 'The Messenger' and 'The Book Thief')
Markus Zusak
3
Birthdate: June 23, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Markus Zusak is an Australian writer best known for his novels The Book Thief and The Messenger, which became international bestsellers. His mother is originally from Germany, while his father hails from Austria. Zusak was born and raised in Australia. He received the Kathleen Mitchell Award in 2006 and the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2014. 

 3 
Colleen McCullough
(Novelist, Writer, Neurologist, Biographer, Science fiction writer)
Colleen McCullough
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wellington
Died: January 29, 2015

Australian author Colleen McCullough soared to fame with her bestselling novel The Thorn Birds, which was also made into a hit miniseries. Fans also lover her Masters of Rome and Carmine Delmonico series of novels. A former neuropsychologist, she has previously taught at the Yale School of Medicine.

 4 
Tim Winton
(Writer, Screenwriter, Novelist, Children's writer)
Tim Winton
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Perth

Four-time Miles Franklin Award-winning Australian author Tim Winton excels in both adult and children’s books. Having written international bestsellers, such as the Booker Prize-shortlisted The Riders, he has been declared a Living Treasure in Australia. He is devoted to marine conservation and often describes coastal Western Australia in his novels.

 5 
Gregory David Roberts
(writer, novelist)
Gregory David Roberts
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Melbourne

Gregory David Roberts is an Australian author. A former heroin addict and bank robber, he was incarcerated in Pentridge Prison, from where he escaped and fled to India. He was later captured again and imprisoned. During this time, he began writing his novel Shantaram, which went on to become a huge success. He has also released an album. 

 6 
Matthew Reilly
(Writer known for his bestselling Jack West and Shane Schofield series)
Matthew Reilly
3
Birthdate: July 2, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Matthew Reilly is an Australian writer who specializes in the action thriller genre. He enjoyed writing from a young age and started his literary career by self-publishing his debut novel. After a few years of struggle, he caught the notice of reputed publishers and has since built a successful writing career. He hopes to direct a movie in the future. 

 7 
J. M. Coetzee
(South African-Australian Writer and Recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature)
J. M. Coetzee
0
Birthdate: February 9, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa

Nobel Prize- and two-time Booker Prize-winning author J. M. Coetzee had started his career as a Fulbright scholar. After teaching English in the U.S. and South Africa, he now lives and teaches in Australia. He is best known for his colonial settings in novels such as Waiting for the Barbarians.

 8 
Thomas Keneally
(Writer, Playwright, Novelist, Actor, Author)
Thomas Keneally
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sydney

Initially a Catholic deacon, Thomas Keneally quit the Church later and stepped into writing. Best known for his historical novels such as The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and Gossip from the Forest, he also won a Booker Prize for Schindler's Ark, which was inspired by the Holocaust.

 9 
John Flanagan
(writer, novelist, screenwriter)
John Flanagan
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sydney

After working in an ad agency for two decades, John Flanagan began writing stories to motivate his son to read and eventually ended up writing what later came to be known as the bestselling book series Ranger’s Apprentice. He has also penned the Brotherband Chronicles series and other books.

 10 
Kathy Lette
(Novelist)
Kathy Lette
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sydney

Australian-British writer Kathy Lette initially gained fame with the book Puberty Blues, which was made into a movie and a series. She then became a sitcom writer. Known for her bestsellers such as The Boy Who Fell to Earth and How to Kill Your Husband, Kathy is a true-blue feminist.

 11 
Patrick White
(Australian Writer)
Patrick White
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Knightsbridge, London, England
Died: September 30, 1990

Patrick White was an Australian writer whose fictional works incorporated stream of consciousness techniques, shifting narrative vantage points, florid prose, and humor. In 1973, he became the first Australian to receive the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. Over the course of his illustrious career, White published 12 novels, eight plays, and three short-story collections.

 12 
Bryce Courtenay
(One of Australia's Best-Selling Authors, Known for His Book ‘The Power of One’)
Bryce Courtenay
4
Birthdate: August 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: November 22, 2012

Bryce Courtenay was a South African-Australian novelist and advertising director. Best remembered for his novel The Power of One, Courtenay remains one of Australia's best-selling writers several years after his death. Bryce Courtenay's relationship with his readers played an important role in his success; he often gave away free books to gain a loyal fan base.

 13 
Greg Egan
(Writer)
Greg Egan
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Perth, Australia
 14 
Peter Carey
(writer, novelist, screenwriter, university teacher, children's writer)
Peter Carey
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bacchus Marsh
 15 
Richard Flanagan
(writer, journalist, film director, novelist)
Richard Flanagan
3
Birthdate: 1961 AD
Birthplace: Longford

One of Australia’s best novelists, Richard Flanagan is known for his Booker Prize-winning book The Narrow Road to the Deep North. He was one of the screen writers of Baz Luhrmann’s Australia and has also written for publications such as Le Monde and The Daily Telegraph. He supports indigenous literacy.

 16 
Kerry Greenwood
(Australian Author Best known for Her Series of Historical Detective Novels about the Fictional Character Phryne Fisher)
Kerry Greenwood
3
Birthdate: 1954 AD
Birthplace: Footscray, Australia

Kerry Greenwood is an Australian author and lawyer who writes children’s books, mystery, science fiction, and historical fiction. She is best known for her series of historical detective novels about the fictional character Phryne Fisher. She has a law degree and worked full-time as a criminal defense lawyer before becoming a professional writer. She has won a Davitt Award.

 17 
Norman Lindsay
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Creswick, Australia
Died: November 21, 1969

Once accused of being anti-Christian, Australian artist and Art Nouveau veteran Norman Lindsay is remembered for his controversial cartoons and drawings, mostly erotic or politically charged. Some of his works were once burned for being pornographic. He also experimented with sculpture and was an amateur boxer, too.

 18 
Garth Nix
(Writer, Children's writer, Author, Novelist, Science fiction writer)
Garth Nix
3
Birthdate: July 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Melbourne

After leaving home at an early age, Australian author Garth Nix had moved around Europe in an old Austin. He later worked in a book shop and became an editor, before becoming a full-time fantasy novelist. He is best known for his novel series such as The Seventh Tower.

 19 
Shaun Tan
(writer, children's writer, draughtsperson, illustrator)
Shaun Tan
3
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Fremantle
 20 
Trudi Canavan
(Best Known for Her Best-Selling Fantasy Trilogies 'The Black Magician' & 'Age of The Five')
Trudi Canavan
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
 21 
Paul Jennings
(writer, children's writer, novelist, screenwriter)
Paul Jennings
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Heston
 22 
Michael Robotham
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Casino, Australia
 23 
Miles Franklin
(Australian Writer and Feminist Best Known for Her Novel 'My Brilliant Career')
Miles Franklin
3
Birthdate: October 14, 1879
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Talbingo, Australia
Died: September 19, 1954

Miles Franklin was an Australian feminist and writer best remembered for her 1901 novel My Brilliant Career. Franklin, who made immense contributions to Australian literature, was honored with the prestigious S. H. Prior Memorial Prize twice during her illustrious career. The Miles Franklin Award and the Stella Prize were established in her honor.

 24 
John Marsden
(writer, novelist, science fiction writer, children's writer)
John Marsden
3
Birthdate: September 27, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Australia
 25 
Richard Neville
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: September 4, 2016
 26 
Helen Garner
(Journalist, Novelist, Screenwriter)
Helen Garner
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Geelong
 27 
David Malouf
(Australian Poet, Novelist, Short Story Writer and Playwright)
David Malouf
3
Birthdate: March 20, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia

David Malouf is an Australian writer widely recognized as one of the country’s greatest writers. He graduated from the University of Queensland and taught for a while. He began writing seriously in the 1970s and became a well-known author within years. He received the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature in 2016. 

 28 
Shirley Hazzard
(Australian-American Novelist, Short Story Writer, and Essayist Best Known for Her 2003 Novel, 'The Great Fire')
Shirley Hazzard
2
Birthdate: January 30, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: December 12, 2016

Australian-born American author Shirley Hazzard is best known for her Lost Man Booker Prize-shortlisted book The Bay of Noon and the National Book Award-winning The Great Fire. She has also penned various non-fiction volumes on the United Nations, where she had worked as a typist for a decade.

 29 
Morris West
(Australian Writer and Playwright Who Often Focused on International Politics in His works)
Morris West
3
Birthdate: April 26, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: St Kilda, Australia
Died: October 9, 1999

Morris West was an Australian writer and playwright who often focused on international politics in his works. He was highly acclaimed as a novelist and sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. Before becoming a professional writer, he ran his own radio production company. He was honored with the title of Officer of the Order of Australia.  

 30 
Damien Leith
(Singer-songwriter)
Damien Leith
2
Birthdate: January 18, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Damien Leith is an Irish-Australian singer and songwriter who achieved popularity after winning the fourth season of Australian Idol in 2006. Since winning the title, he has received one gold and seven platinum certifications by ARIA for his singles and albums. In 2007, Damien Leith received two nominations at the MTV Australia Video Music Awards.

 31 
Max Barry
(Creator of Nationstates, an Online Game Created to Help Advertise Jennifer Government)
Max Barry
2
Birthdate: March 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
 32 
Jennifer Rowe
(Writer, Novelist, Children's writer)
Jennifer Rowe
2
Birthdate: April 2, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sydney
 33 
Christos Tsiolkas
(Australian Author Best Known for His Novel 'The Slap')
Christos Tsiolkas
0
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

Christos Tsiolkas is an Australian author best known for his novel The Slap. He is an internationally acclaimed author with numerous commercially successful books to his name. He is the recipient of the 2021 Melbourne Prize for Literature. Many of his books have been adapted for film and television. He is openly gay and often writes about homosexuality.  

 34 
Jill K. Conway
2
Birthdate: October 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hillston, Australia
Died: June 1, 2018
Doris Pilkington Garimara
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Balfour Downs Station, Newman, Australia
Died: April 10, 2014
 36 
Kate Grenville
(Australian Author)
Kate Grenville
2
Birthdate: October 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Australian author Kate Grenville is best known for her Orange Prize-winning novel The Idea of Perfection and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning book The Secret River. She has previously also edited documentaries and taught creative writing. The Officer of the Order of Australia awardee has also earned several honorary doctorates.

 37 
Catherine Helen Spence
(Author, Journalist & Politician)
Catherine Helen Spence
2
Birthdate: October 31, 1825
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Melrose, Scotland
Died: April 3, 1910

Catherine Helen Spence was a 19th-century Scottish-born Australian author, teacher, journalist, and politician. One of the leading suffragists of her era, she was also a minister of religion and social worker. She supported electoral proportional representation. Australian writer and feminist Miles Franklin called her the "Greatest Australian Woman". 

 38 
Arthur Upfield
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gosport, England
Died: February 12, 1964
 39 
Gerald Murnane
0
Birthdate: February 25, 1939
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Coburg, Victoria, Australia
 40 
Angela Thirkell
(Novelist)
Angela Thirkell
2
Birthdate: January 30, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Died: January 29, 1961
 41 
Mary Augusta Ward
2
Birthdate: June 11, 1851
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hobart, Australia
Died: March 24, 1920
 42 
Colin Thiele
(Author)
Colin Thiele
2
Birthdate: November 16, 1920
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eudunda, Australia
Died: September 4, 2006
 43 
Sally Morgan
(Author, Artist)
Sally Morgan
0
Birthdate: January 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Perth, Western Australia

Sally Morgan is an Australian dramatist, author, and artist. Counted among the important Australian Aboriginal figures, Morgan is respected for her work and has been honored with several awards like Human Rights Literature and Other Writing Award. Her works are showcased in several public and private collections around the world. Morgan’s work is also displayed at the Australian National Gallery.

 44 
Ruth Park
(New Zealand-Australian Writer)
Ruth Park
2
Birthdate: August 24, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: December 14, 2010

Ruth Park was a New Zealand–born Australian writer whose works earned her numerous awards in both Australia and internationally between 1946 and 2004. She is perhaps best remembered for her 1948 novel The Harp in the South, which was translated into 37 languages. Also known as a children's writer, Ruth Park was honored with the prestigious Dromkeen Medal in 2008.

 45 
Randa Abdel-Fattah
2
Birthdate: June 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
 46 
Alexis Wright
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cloncurry, Australia
Henry Handel Richardson
2
Birthdate: January 3, 1870
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: East Melbourne, Australia
Died: March 20, 1946
 48 
Christina Stead
(Novelist)
Christina Stead
2
Birthdate: July 17, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rockdale, Australia
Died: March 31, 1983
 49 
Christopher Koch
2
Birthdate: July 16, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hobart, Australia
Died: September 23, 2013
Katharine Susannah Prichard
1
Birthdate: December 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Levuka, Fiji
Died: October 2, 1969